1. Are you familiar with the Plan to End Homeless 2.0, which is administered by the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness and the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS)?
Yes. I will be hosting a briefing [in April] with the Department of Family and Support Services, The Mayor’s Office, and the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness for all Aldermen regarding this plan.
2. Do you endorse the Plan to End Homelessness 2.0?
Yes, I sat on panels during the planning process and I endorse it.
3. How is your ward, specifically, trying to end homelessness?
a. We are working with our local shelters to make sure that people get the resources they need to be housed as soon as possible instead of lingering in the shelter system.
b. We are also encouraging social service agencies to work collaboratively so that people who are the most vulnerable are not falling through the cracks.
c. Additionally, we have a monthly meeting with managers of buildings with lower rents including SRO buildings and CHA buildings that have struggled with building code violations and high rates of 9-1-1 calls. At these meetings, building managers that have had problems in the past, but are doing really well, help mentor the other buildings that may be struggling. This way, these buildings will not spiral downward and end up in housing court, which can lead to foreclosure and losing those lower-rent units.
4. Would an increase of affordable housing in your ward cut down on the number of homeless people in your ward?
I believe the answer to number 3 will help. I also believe that an increase in affordable units and SRO buildings throughout the city would be extremely helpful.
5. Do you feel that existing programs deter homeless people from independence or do all programs help people improve their situation?
There are a number of programs in my ward that really help people succeed. Programs like LIFT-Chicago, Heartland Alliance, Thresholds, The Salvation Army’s Evangeline Lodge, Sarah’s Circle, Northside Housing, Inspiration Corporation, Catholic Charities and Department of Family and Support Services to name a few.
6. How would economic and racial desegregation of the West, South – and North Sides – affect the affordability of housing in Chicago?
Economic, racial, and sexual orientation desegregation would positively affect affordable housing as well as making our entire city stronger. The more diverse each neighborhood is, the better the housing is, the schools are, and the more people will want to stay in the City and look at Chicago as an ideal place to move to.
Other aldermen who were interviewed include Leslie Hairston (5th Ward), William Burns (4th Ward), Joe Moreno (1st Ward), Rey Colón (35th Ward), Nicholas Sposato (36th Ward), Tim Cullerton (38th Ward) and Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward).